Will CHP Work For Me?

3 things are important, and they are all interlinked.

  1. The ability to use the heat, for heating or hot water, most of the year round. For example, an 80 bedroom hotel with a swimming pool would likely be a very successful application; whereas a 10 bedroom guest house would probably not be. Many other successful applications exist in all sorts of industries. Please ask us. 
  2. Using a reasonable amount of electricity to start with. Savings come mostly from reductions in your electricity bill, so if you aren’t spending much to start with then the potential will be reduced. A decent CHP can save many £1000’s off your energy bill every year, but you need to be spending at least £150,000 – £200,000 on electricity to begin with.
  3. The difference in electricity & gas prices. CHP burns gas to produce cheap electricity, so the ratio in these costs is important. This is known as your Spark Ratio.


I have heard of Spark Ratio’s, what are they and do I need one?

What is a Spark Ratio? – Sometimes known as the ‘Spark Gap’, this is an industry standard term for the difference between the prices per kWh of your gas and electricity supplies.

Why is a Spark Ratio Important? – CHP‘s burn natural gas to create very cheap clean electricity and heat. The cost saving comes from using a cheaper fuel (gas) to generate your own electricity on site instead of buying it from the grid. The cheaper your gas and the dearer your electricity, the greater your savings will be on a powertherm CHP.


Why are Gas and Electricity bills so important?

The best way to determine if CHP is appropriate for your site is to provide us with the last 12 months of gas and electricity bills. We prefer copies of the actual bills, because they tell the whole story. We take these bills and run a Free No Obligation desktop study to determine suitability. Please don’t send these if you only spend a few thousand on electricity every year, because we’d be wasting your time. However, if you have a bigger application (see ‘Will CHP work for Me?’) then we would be very glad to hear from you.


Typically what saving that can I make?

These depend on your spark ratio, and the amount of heating / electricity you are currently using. If you tick all these boxes then on a medium size CHP application savings of £40,000 per year are possible, and on a larger application £100,000 per year is achievable. It all depends on the circumstances.


Do I need planning permission for a CHP?

This is not normally needed, unless your CHP installation is in an area where the public view of your building may be affected. Often the unit can be installed indoors if existing space permits. As always you should check with your local planning department. We provide photographs and CAD drawings to help with this if required.


What about maintenance?

CHP maintenance has traditionally been an issue 20 years ago, and the upkeep costs could consume all the savings. GOOD NEWS. Powertherm CHPs all come with our unique Infinium24 maintenance package, where we do all the servicing, provide all the parts, all the labour, any call outs all for a guaranteed fixed cost. There is literally nothing else to pay.

We take complete responsibility for all the upkeep, and all the risks are down to us. We even replace critical components on a time life basis to ensure the unit stays as-new throughout its life. We also provide real time remote monitoring and control, which our engineers use to keep the unit in trim. The client has open access to this monitor so that everything is fully visible.

MORE GOOD NEWS – maintenance costs are not hidden away in the pricing. They are factored in at the very first feasibility stage, and are always fully visible to the client, fixed price, and guaranteed. All savings and payback figures quoted include maintenance, so what you see is what you get. The savings are yours to keep.


Do I need to be connected to the National Grid?

To have your own CHP generating your own electricity on site requires it to be synchronised with the mains electricity grid. This is so it can run in conjunction with your incoming supply. We take care of this whole process for you, supplying the equipment to harmoniously link up to the grid. Your electricity network operator will require a G59 mains sensing relay to be installed. This protects your CHP from trying to power the whole town in the event of a power cut. We provide this for you, and take care of the application to the network operator, and the subsequent installation and testing.


What’s the typical return on my investment?

Powertherm CHP is one of the biggest single steps you can take toward reducing your energy bill. The Use of Capital Employed is impressive, and the Return On Investment (ROI) even more so. For example, a very good site where the electricity was expensive, and the gas cheap, and there was a constant demand for hot water all year round, could see a £40,000 saving pear year on an installed cost of £120,000. Site circumstances vary enormously, but in this real-world example the client had his investment repaid in 3 years. Thereafter the savings continued at circa £40,000 per annum, which is a very respectable improvement to the bottom line.


What effect will this have on my carbon footprint?

Installing CHP is one of the biggest single actions you can take to reduce your carbon footprint. Electricity is a carbon dirty fuel, and significant losses in the power station/national grid network mean that its supply to you is very inefficient.

By contrast, a CHP making your own heat and electricity on site is very efficient, and one of the biggest indicators of this is the amount of Carbon saved. The Carbon Trust like this so much that there are substantial funding offers available for powertherm CHP installations. See Carbon Trust Funding.


How do I qualify for external Funding?

The Climate Change Levy appears on your bill as CCL. One of the uses of this tax money is lending it to people to finance carbon reduction energy schemes such as installing a powertherm. The Carbon trust is the body responsible for managing this fund, and a simple process is available to see if you qualify for a loan.  If you do, the rewards are significant. The load can be for up to 100% of the whole project cost. It is interest free, and un-secured. Repayments are funded by the energy savings the scheme gives. The government collects a levy on uses of fossil fuels, this is known as the Climate Change Levy, so there is no cash flow penalty to the client. This is a real win-win situation where the scheme effectively pays for itself, and once the Carbon Trust loan is repaid, the savings are all your to keep. Powertherm CHP installations have been very successfully funded by the Carbon Trust, and they are very keen to continue to do so.


Do I need a Survey?

Yes, no two systems are the same. shentontgroup will conduct a free site survey and make recommendations on the correct solution for your individual application.